ABU DHABI // A French tourist was run down and killed yesterday on a pedestrian crossing in the capital, just 90 minutes after he had disembarked from his cruise ship. Witnesses said the man was hit and killed instantly in front of the Marina Cafe at about 11.30am, as he crossed the street with his wife and a friend. The victim's wife and the friend, also from France, managed to jump out of the way, as the driver sped off. Lt Abdulrahman al Buraiki of the Abu Dhabi Tourist Police said the driver, an Emirati, had abandoned his car, a BMW sport model, behind Marina Mall and fled on foot, but was arrested a short time later. Lt al Buraiki's department investigates all incidents in the capital involving tourists. The victim had arrived in Abu Dhabi aboard an Italian cruise ship, the Costa Victoria, an hour and a half before he was killed. A representative from the French Embassy confirmed the victim's nationality and said he was in his seventies but declined to provide his name. She said the victim's wife would remain in Abu Dhabi while arrangements to return her husband's body to France were being made. The embassy would cover the cost of repatriation. The victim's wife remained at the scene of the accident for nearly an hour until representatives of her tour company led her away. The group had sailed in from Italy and was cruising the Red Sea and Gulf countries. "This is a real tragedy for us and for his family, friends and shipmates," a spokesman for Costa Tours said. "This is the first time such a tragedy has befallen one of our customers." The spokesman said the cruise ship was docked at Abu Dhabi Port and was scheduled to leave the capital at 5pm. The travel company had arranged for a bus to take tourists to Marina Mall but the victim and his wife and friend had decided to walk. "Our hearts go out to the victim's wife and family," said one passenger interviewed in Marina Mall. "To see your husband killed in front of you is a tragedy that is beyond description." email@example.com
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